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Another possible inflection point, pre-self-improvement could be when an AI gets a set of capabilities that allows it to gain new capabilities at inference time.

I'll repeat this bet, same odds same conditions same payout, if you're still interested. My $10k to your $200 in advance.

Responding to your #1, do you think we're on track to handle the cluster of AGI Ruin scenarios pointed at in 16-19? I feel we are not making any progress here other than towards verifying some properties in 17.

16: outer optimization even on a very exact, very simple loss function doesn't produce inner optimization in that direction.
17: on the current optimization paradigm there is no general idea of how to get particular inner properties into a system, or verify that they're there, rather than just observable outer ones you can run a loss function over. 
18: There's no reliable Cartesian-sensory ground truth (reliable loss-function-calculator) about whether an output is 'aligned'
19: there is no known way to use the paradigm of loss functions, sensory inputs, and/or reward inputs, to optimize anything within a cognitive system to point at particular things within the environment

Thanks for the links and explanation, Ethan.

I mean, it's mostly semantics but I think of mechanical interpretability as "inner" but not alignment and think it's clearer that way, personally, so that we don't call everything alignment. Observing properties doesn't automatically get you good properties. I'll read your link but it's a bit too much to wade into for me atm.

Either way, it's clear how to restate my question: Is mechanical interpretability work the only inner alignment work Anthropic is doing?

Great post. I'm happy to see these plans coming out, following OpenAI's lead.

It seems like all the safety strategies are targeted at outer alignment and interpretability. None of the recent OpenAI, Deepmind, Anthropic, or Conjecture plans seem to target inner alignment, iirc, even though this seems to me like the biggest challenge.

Is Anthropic mostly leaving inner alignment untouched, for now?

Taken literally, the only way to merge n utility functions into one without any other info (eg the preferences that generated the utility functions) is to do a weighted sum. There's only n-1 free parameters.

Wouldn't the kind of alignment you'd be able to test behaviorally in a game be unrelated to scalable alignment?

I know this was 3 years ago, but was this disagreement resolved, maybe offline?

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